Budget smartphone gimbal perfect for beginners 2022. AOCHUAN SMART X-PRO & SMART X in depth review.

In depth review of Aochuan Smart X-Pro and Smart X. Tech specifications, modes, buttons, performance and app.

3/24/2022

TECH SPECIFICATIONS:

2 gimbals. They look the same but they are not the same. Both gimbals are very good in terms of price. Smart X has basic features, Smart X-PRO has advanced features. Smart X weighs 295g, X pro is a little bit heavier, it weighs 310g. Both gimbals have the same dimensions (268 x 125 x 65mm unfolded, 158 x 108 x 55mm folded) Maximum payload for both gimbals is 250g. We will see what we can fit into 250g. Both gimbals have built-in fill light. Both gimbals have replaceable batteries. I know that many of you expressed high interest in replaceable batteries. Version X has a 2600mAh battery and version X-PRO has a bigger 3200mAh battery. Both take about 2.5 hours to be charged. X version will last 7 - 9 hours and X-PRO version will last 7 - 10 hours. Operating temperature is 0 - 45 degrees Celsius. Both gimbals use the same app called Aochuan and lastly both gimbals have a port at the bottom to mount a tripod to it. 

AOCHUAN SMART X-PRO - https://geni.us/goxu (on Amazon) (X-PRO Amazon 5% off code: ZQZ5QIU3)

AOCHUAN SMART X - https://geni.us/aXkqMiA (on Amazon) (X Amazon 5% off code: HFSO3XJV)

Aochuan official website: https://www.yg-free.com

So what is different? Smart X doesn’t have a focus wheel but X-PRO has one. Instead of a focus wheel, you’ll get a port where you can mount a light or microphone or anything else. Both gimbals have a zoom button below. There are 2 more features which are not available on X version but only on X-PRO version. First is an OLED display where you can see modes and other info. On the X version you can still see which mode you have selected. Second one is wireless charging. 

I tested that one. My phone was almost dead and I needed to call Europe. To enable wireless charging you press and hold the record button. When I was using it, the gimbal had roughly 50% left.. My guess. Not exactly sure as I grabbed it in a hurry. It was a video call, I spoke for about 45min. Then the gimbal shut off as the battery was drained. I was able to slightly recharge the phone as I was using it for that long. Wireless charging output: 5V/0.4A. This port is only for charging the gimbal. You cannot charge your phone with it. 

Aochuan Smart X & Aochuan Smart X-pro

Clamp. Let’s talk about that. The clamp is super strong, it really grabs the phone. You can fit phone sizes between 55-90mm. I have an iPhone 13pro here and a Samsung Galaxy S10 plus. The iPhone 13pro without a case, no problem, perfect fit. I do have a Moment thin case where I can attach a VND filter to it and extra lenses. Once I have that case on, it is not fitting well and here and there the phone fell out on me. The grip is not deep enough so there is no case for the iPhone 13pro. If you want to use a VND filter, you have to use something like a POWRIG Mag filter adapter which is literally glued to your phone and then you can attach 52mm filters on it or a clamp with VND filter. 

This Samsung phone also has a Moment case on it where you can mount filters and lenses and that one fits in no problem. It is much thinner. So this will really depend on the depth of the phone if it can fit the case as well. Balancing is easy and a bit different from other gimbals. The phone has to be flat on the top like this in order to be perfectly balanced.


CALIBRATION: Generally all gimbals need to be calibrated in order to have a perfect horizon level. When I turned on the gimbal for the first time it needed that as well. In the Aochuan app, there is no button to hit to do automatic calibration so you will need to perform calibration by axis. The gimbal has to be folded and locked sitting on a table. Press the joystick to the left and power button at the same time and hold until the display on X-PRO POV on X gimbal version it will start flashing. Then press the record button and just wait for this to be completed. Once done, press the power button to turn it off. 

PERFORMANCE: When the gimbal is on, the feeling I have from it compared to other gimbals, is smooth, no vibrations and no sound is coming from the motors. The body also feels very sturdy, a big improvement from the XR which I reviewed a long time ago. Pan angle is 310 degrees, roll angle is 330 degrees and you can either control it manually by pressing the joystick to the side in either direction or use automatic inception mode. Mechanical tilt angle is 345 degrees but controllable tilt angle is 76 degrees.

STABILISATION TEST: There are 2 options in the app when it comes to stabilization. You can use just smartphones' stabilization or you can enable anti-shake. There will be a slight crop but it is worth it. You will end up with a very smooth footage.

Aochuan Smart X and X-Pro batteries
Focus wheel and port on Aochuan gimbals
unfolded gimbals Aochuan Smart X and X-pro

BUTTONS: Let’s have a closer look at the buttons and the way you operate this gimbal. Simple and straightforward is my personal feeling about this one. Power button will turn on and off the gimbal if you long press, and a single click will turn on the back light. It has 3 levels of brightness, Level 1, 2, 3 and off. If you double press you can check the battery level. Record buttons let you record videos and take photos if you press 1x. If you double press you can switch between horizontal and vertical mode, if you hold the record button that is where you turn and off wireless charging as I mentioned earlier. Joystick is not just a joystick, it is also a button. You can move the gimbal around, and a single click will let you switch between modes. It’s got pan follow, follow mode, lock mode and POV mode. Double click will re-center the gimbal and if you press 3x you will get into pre-programed inception mode. It will start spinning automatically. If you want to spin the gimbal manually you can do that in POV mode. 

FOCUS wheel is very smooth. When I tested this feature, I was actually quite impressed. Zoom. OK, I noticed that the zoom is purely digital. It is not going to switch lenses as you are zooming in. In the app you have to select the lens you are going to film with and then you can zoom in using that lens. I also noticed that you cannot use the buttons even record button outside of Aochuan app so if you are going to be filming with this gimbal, you will have to their app otherwise you will have to tap on the screen with a finger. Good news is though, that you can switch gimbal modes outside of their app. 

MODES: Speaking of modes. I like how it was performing. The only thing I noticed though was that when I am using lock mode, I am quite limited with movement. When you move sideways, no problems there, however when you go up and down, I ran into a bit of a challenge. The gimbal didn’t stay in lock mode much when I was doing larger movements. Unlike other gimbals, when I was going for example down to a low shot, I have to really physically go all the way down to make sure it stays in lock mode. The arm has to be straight to keep gimbal in the same position. When you point gimbal down, you will lose the locked frame.

Aochuan App

ULTRA WIDE ANGLE LENS: I also noticed that when I perfectly balanced the gimbal and I was using ultra wide angle lens, yes I was seeing a bit of a motor in the shot. It is easy to fix. Just move the phone a bit to the left. The gimbal won’t be perfectly balanced anymore but it will be just fine. You might drain the battery faster though. 

Aochuan APP with APPLE: What is included? Beauty mode is on the left, Video resolution is next. You can do 4K in 24, 30 and 60fps, the same goes to 1080p and 720p, you can choose between formats H.264 and H.265. Settings is next. You can use a timer, enable camera settings. You can enable bluetooth microphone here. You can adjust gimbal settings, here you can adjust follow speed and joystick speed. You can turn on the grid, anti shake and film in manual mode. On the right we have some filming modes. Moves are first. Here you can learn moves in different modes. Inception mode is next, Hitchcock also known as dolly zoom is next, panorama where you can do 3x5, 3x3, 330 degrees and 180 degrees panorama. Photos, Video mode, slow motion. Choice is 240fps or 120fps in 1080p and 720p. Timelapse which can be filmed in 4K, 1080p and 720p in 24 and 30fps. Trajectory delay is basically motion timelapse, long exposure shot and last one is live broadcast. When I click on that I see TikTok, Kwai and Other as a choice. Gesture control is also offered.

TRACKING TEST: There are 2 options to select. The first option is just face tracking. Typical framing when the face is always in the middle. Well, they have another option which I really like and that would be body tracking. When you move away from the camera you are going to get way better framing, you are not going to have that much space above the head.

Build in light on Aochuan Smart X-pro gimbal

APP with ANDROID: Let’s see what are the limitations with Android phones. Again I am using Samsung Galaxy S10 plus. Please keep in mind that every Android will be different. If you ask me if your phone is compatible and you will get everything like this phone does, I won’t know the answer. You have to contact Aochuan directly. So here is what I see with this specific Android. When it comes to frame rates and resolution I see 4K, 1080p and 720p in 24fps and 30fps. Beauty mode is there, you can film in manual mode. Everything seems to be the same as with the iphone except slow motion and long exposure. Those are not included. 

VND Filter test: OK, so maximum payload is 250g. Since I cannot use the Moment case on my iPhone with it, I tested it with Samsung. The phone weight with the case is 213g. When I mounted a filter and filter adapter the weight was 247g. So it is 3g under. The gimbal was working no problem. When I added anamorphic lens, the weight was 251g which is 1g over. The gimbal was working still well but I wouldn’t put more on it. 250g is the maximum payload. 

CONCLUSION: Who is this gimbal for? Good for beginners, good for people who want to film just in automatic mode or manual with VND filter. If you want to use extra lenses, the maximum payload is smaller so that wouldn’t be the right choice. Smart X gimbal would be more for vloggers, Smart X-PRO I see more for filming.

AOCHUAN SMART X-PRO - https://geni.us/goxu (on Amazon) (X-PRO Amazon 5% off code: ZQZ5QIU3)

AOCHUAN SMART X - https://geni.us/aXkqMiA (on Amazon) (X Amazon 5% off code: HFSO3XJV)

Aochuan official website: https://www.yg-free.com

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